The big news at CenturyLink that was rumored over the weekend has officially come out. It’s primarily a re-branding rather than anything more drastic, looking to breathe new life into the company’s approach to the market.
CenturyLink itself is re-branding itself as Lumen Technologies, or Lumen for short, and will at the end of this week change its stock symbol to LUMN. Meanwhile, the fiber-served consumers and SMBs served by CenturyLink Fiber will also see a rebranding to Quantum Fiber. Only their more traditionally-served (i.e. legacy copper?) consumer and SMB businesses will still be served by the CenturyLink brand.
Lumen’s new stated purpose? As Jeff Storey put it in the announcement, “Our people are dedicated to furthering human progress through technology. Lumen is all about enabling the amazing potential of our customers, by utilizing our technology platform, our people, and our relationships with customers and partners.”
CenturyLink’s infrastructure today includes 450K route miles connecting 170K buildings, a base with which they hope to do more with than they have been in the last couple years since the Level 3 merger etc. The word ‘lumen’ is simply Latin for ‘light’, which re-emphasizes the fiberoptic core of today’s networks.
There won’t be any shift in the financials or reporting or anything like that. Rumors of a spin-off or sale of any piece of the company don’t appear to be in the immediate plans, nor do any major reorganizations. But who knows what the next steps will be.
It looks as if CenturyLink is trying to shed some ILEC baggage and accelerate back toward the sort of position at the forefront of technological change that, say, Level 3 felt it had before the merger. You know, rekindle the fires of innovation and all that. How much this re-branding will help in that effort is an open question, but they’ll be pulling out all the marketing stops for the rest of the year I’m sure.
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